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Tamil protesters block installation of Buddha statue at Tamil temple site

Local Tamils and politicians thwarted an attempt by Sinhala Buddhist monks and the Sri Lankan army to install a Buddha statue on a native Tamil temple site. 

Sinhala Buddhist monks and the Sri Lankan army had planned a Buddhist dedication ceremony to consecrate a Buddha statue at the site of a native Tamil temple despite an order by Mullaitivu Magistrate's Court decreeing that no changes could be made to the site.

However, Sinhala Buddhist monks, aided by the state's archaeology department, have continued their attempts to seize the ancient Tamil temple site in Mullaitivu. The archaeology department have used the guise of 'excavation' work to assist Sinhala Buddhist monks to erect a Buddhist shrine. 

Director General of the Department of Archeology Anura Manathunga visited the area and told protesters that he was "carrying out reconstruction work to preserve the fossils found in the Kurunthurmalai area and that he had not built any new buildings there" while also rejecting claims that his department was working with the monks and the military. 

Three of the Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) were arrested during the protest and were held in a police vehicle throughout the demonstration. 

The Tamil homeland has been subjected to decades of Sinhalisation but since the end of the armed conflict, there has been a rise in the establishment of Buddhist temples and Sinhala settlements through the appropriation of Tamil land. The government has used it's departments such as the archaeological and land survery departments to alter the demographics of the North-East.  


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